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Assaulted AAP MLA part of sand mining mafia: Punjab Cong

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

In a new twist to the case related to the assault on Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) legislator Amarjit Singh Sandoa by members of sand mining mafia in Rupnagar district, Punjab Congress leaders on Friday demanded probe into his (Sandoa’s) mining interests.

In a joint statement, Punjab Congress secretaries Pawan Dewan and Gurmail Singh Pahalwan alleged that Sandoa was illegally extorting money from the contractors of sand mining and the incident which he claimed to be attack on him was actually a scuffle caused over payment of money.

They alleged that the first-time member of the legislative Assembly (MLA) from Rupnagar was himself part of the sand mafia and is directly and indirectly involved in illegal sand mining himself.

The Congress leaders said Thursday’s incident was the outcome of his clash of mining interests with the same people who at one point of time happened to be his supporters and partners in mining business. Congress leaders alleged that Sandoa was the part of the same mafia he was claiming to have been attacked by. They said, the AAP instead of crying wolf and defending him should take action against him and probe his illegal activities.

Dewan and Pahalwan observed that the AAP was now trying to blow the incident out of proportion as the party wanted to divert the attention from the controversy raised by its leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira over his support to the ‘Referendum 2020’ propounded by Sikh radicals for the creation of Khalistan.

Sandoa had suffered injuries when he was attacked with stones and iron rods by the mafia while the AAP legislator from Rupnagar visited a quarry to verify reports of illegal sand mining in Beinhara village.

Rupnagar police have arrested three men in connection with the case and a hunt to nab the remaining two accused is underway. Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has sought a detailed report from the Rupnagar deputy commissioner as opposition parties expressed outrage over the attack.

The attack on Sandoa came three days after alleged members of a sand mining mafia attacked six forest department officers in Punjab’s Mohali district. Two of them were seriously injured.